Previous posts in this discussion:
PostNetanyahu's War (Massoud Malek, USA, 07/24/14 11:34 pm)
As a friend of both the Israeli and Palestinian people, I have never been a fan of Benjamin Netanyahu, a warmonger with a loose trigger who deplores peace. He is disliked by most Western leaders. Even Pope Francis I refused to meet with him. According to The New York Times, in 2011, the president of France, Nicolas Sarkozy, told President Obama that he could no longer bear Benjamin Netanyahu, and went on to call Netanyahu a "liar" in a private conversation overheard by several French journalists. "You are fed up with him, but I have to deal with him even more often than you," Mr. Obama replied.
Netanyahu is silent on Israel's stockpile of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons, but he calls the nuclear deal with Iran a "historic mistake." This is the same "mistake" that forced Iran to turn all of its enriched uranium closest to the level needed to make nuclear arms into more harmless forms.
In his 24 July WAIS post, Randy Black wrote: "Massoud Malek presents a rather one-sided view of the matters in the Gaza region... A resolution supporting a cease fire would not have been called for, I suppose, if the Hamas fighters were not hiding behind the skirts of women in Gaza neighborhoods."
When children are scared they usually hide behind the skirts of their mothers or they hide in shelters. I assume nobody can accuse BBC of having a one-sided view. Here is what BBC reported on 24 July:
"At least 15 people have been killed and more than 200 injured when a UN-run school used as a shelter in Gaza was shelled. A spokesman for the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine refugees, said the Israeli army had been formally given the GPS co-ordinates of the shelter. Netanyahu said he regretted each Palestinian civilian death, but said they were 'the responsibility of Hamas!' He also said: 'UN criticism of Israeli action was a travesty of justice, fairness and common sense.'"
Should we call a travesty of justice, when 44% of Gaza is a no-go area for Palestinians? Over 118,000 residents of Gaza now are sheltering in UN schools. People are running out of food and water.
On 21 July, BBC reported:
"At least five people have been killed and 70 injured by an Israeli strike on a hospital in Gaza. Two patients were killed in their beds. Doctors say several Israeli tank shells hit the hospital's reception, intensive care unit, and operating rooms. Most of the wounded were doctors. The UN is running out of supplies, morgues run out of space, and hospital wards are packed."
Randy wrote: "That more are dead on one side than the other also seems to be unfair in Massoud's mind when it's really more of a matter of which side is the better fighter and which side hides behind women and children."
Compared to the state-of-the-art weapons Israel is using to bombard hospitals and shelters in Gaza, rockets fired by Hamas from behind women and children are a relatively unsophisticated assault. So I agree with Randy that Israel has the more sophisticated fighting machine.
Israel has struck more than 25 health facilities in the Gaza Strip since the beginning of its latest military offensive. You don't kill patients and doctors in hospitals just because you suspect that there are some Hamas fighters hiding in them. This is not a war between Israel and Hamas; it is a war of a warmonger called Bibi Netanyahu against humanity.
JE comments: Another point Randy Black and Massoud Malek agree upon: Hamas is winning the PR war. How can Mr Netanyahu allow this to happen?
(John Heelan, UK
07/25/14 1:12 AM)
JE commented on 25 July: "Another point Randy Black and Massoud Malek agree upon: Hamas is winning the PR war. How can Mr Netanyahu allow this to happen?"
The simple answer is that Netanyahu does not care.
That is, as long as it does not affect his US cash cow where the well-oiled Israeli propaganda, PR and political machine in the US ensures that people believe Israel more than Hamas. The solipsistic nature of the Israeli psyche (and one can argue history might explain such a nature) leads Israel to ignore what the rest of the world thinks.
JE comments: But after a few more maimed children and bombed clinics in Gaza, will this situation endure? What I sense is that while the US remains steadfastly behind Israel's latest mobilization, the rest of the world is exasperated. We're seeing this divide on the pages of WAIS.
- Warfare in Jewish Law (Massoud Malek, USA 07/26/14 1:18 AM)
"The king must first wage only obligatory wars. What is an obligatory war? It is a war against the seven nations, the war against Amalek, and a war to deliver Israel from an enemy who has attacked them. Then he may wage authorized wars, which is a war against others in order to enlarge the borders of Israel and to increase his greatness and prestige."
Source: Jewish Law
The Torah provides the following rules for how to fight a war: "Pursue Peace Before Waging War. Preserve the Ecological Needs of the Environment. Maintain Sensitivity to Human Life. The Goal is Peace."
On 25 July 2014, a proposal by US Secretary of State John Kerry called for a temporary pause in fighting to allow Israelis and Palestinians to broker a broader deal, but Israel's security cabinet rejected it. Meanwhile, Israeli Defense Minister told troops that Israel may significantly widen the Gaza ground operation.
The Talmud tells the story of a great rabbi, Judah Ha-Nasi, who was punished with years of kidney stones and other painful ailments because he was insensitive to the fear of a calf being led to slaughter; he was relieved years later when he showed kindness to animals.
More than once in this Forum, Muslim religious leaders have been justifiably condemned for their extremist views. But not a single time has a Jewish Rabbi was criticized for his extremist view. So I would like to be the first member of this Forum to point out that reading religious texts does not make you a better person.
On 23 July, Rabbi Dov Lior, chief rabbi of the Kiryat Arba settlement of the West Bank, issued the following ruling:
"At a time of war, the nation under attack is allowed to punish the enemy population with measures it finds suitable, such as blocking supplies or electricity, as well as shelling the entire area according to the army minister's judgment, and not to needlessly endanger soldiers but rather to take crushing deterring steps to exterminate the enemy. The defense minister may even order the destruction of Gaza so that the south should no longer suffer, and to prevent harm to members of our people who have long been suffering from the enemies surrounding us."
Source: The Jewish Daily Forward
In November 2009, the world was stunned to learn of a shockingly popular book in Israel, The King's Torah. It advocates murder of non-Jews and even their babies.
"In any situation in which a non-Jew's presence endangers Jewish lives, the non-Jew may be killed even if he is a righteous Gentile and not at all guilty for the situation that has been created... There is justification for killing babies if it is clear that they will grow up to become enemies of Israel."
On July 25, a premature baby was delivered in Gaza from a woman killed in an airstrike. Clearly she will grow up as an enemy of Israel.
A spiritual head of the Lithuanian branch of Ultra-Orthodox Jewry in Israel, Rabbi Aharon Shteinman, speaking to a gathering of religious Jews preparing for the Shavuot holiday, said that "There are eight billion people in the world and what are they? Murderers, thieves, brainless people. But who is the essence of the world? Has God created the world for these murderers? For these evil-doers?"
What would the media say if an American religious leader announced that all Jews were "murderers," "brainless evil-doers" and "thieves?" American public and religious leaders are only allowed to assign those adjectives to Muslims.
JE comments: I try to follow this philosophy: extremist clerics of any sect should not be taken as representative spokespeople for their religion.
*The King's Torah*: "Shockingly Popular"?
(Randy Black, USA
07/26/14 12:31 PM)
In his post of 26 July, Massoud Makek discussed various Jewish laws and mentioned one book, The King's Torah, which he stated was "a shockingly popular book in Israel."
Apparently, Massoud considers approximately 1,000 books in print "shockingly popular." I said books in print, because that was the first run that was delivered to the very few bookstores which dared stock it. Most Israeli bookstores did not. There is no evidence that they all sold and or that others were printed. Thus, from the approximately 8 million people living in Israel, perhaps 1,000 "may" have a copy.
In my mind, this number is hardly "shockingly popular."
Israel's largest Judaica publishing house, Feldheim Publishers, did not distribute that book to their own 200 bookstores because it was not offered to them.
JE comments: The author, Rabbi Yitzhak Shapira, is a fringe extremist. Wikipedia probably tells you more than you'd like to know:
I see that the text of The King's Torah is also available in English at a number of websites. Those interested can "Google up" their own link.
- Warfare in Jewish Law (Massoud Malek, USA 07/26/14 1:18 AM)